comes to decorating, choosing paint color can really be a challenge. While you
may feel that there are so many choices you're bound to find the right one, you
may end up feeling that there are so many choices you don't know where to start!
here will really help you if you feel stumped by this important choice. After
all, the paint color will set the tone for the room.
Choose from Chinese bristles
(hog's hair brush), ox-hair brush or a nylon/polyester blend if using oil-based
paint. Natural bristles are your best option because they hold oil-based paint
better than synthetic brushes.
Choose from nylon bristles
or a nylon/polyester blend if using latex (water-based) paint.
Use a large, flat brush
(non-angled) for fast application when cutting in (painting carefully up to the
edge of) walls and corners.
Use angled brushes for trims
and moldings. Brush angles generally range from 1 inch to 3 1/2 inches. Painters
recommend the 2 1/2 inch angled brush.
Select the most comfortable
handle, taking into consideration the amount of time you will be holding the
brush. When choosing between fat and skinny handles, hold the brush in your hand
as you would when painting, to get a good feel for what is comfortable for you.
Find a suitable design for your holiday greeting cards. Look on
the Internet and in holiday coloring
books and magazines as well as embroidery and needlework books for suitable
holiday images and designs. You can also draw your design freehand.
Use watercolor paper for your greeting cards. This special rag paper is made of
cotton fibers and will absorb water more adequately than will other papers.
Use a pencil, ruler, craft knife and cutting board to cut sheets of watercolor
paper to a size that will fit in your chosen envelopes when folded.
Draw or trace your design onto one half of the card stock paper with a pencil.
Paint as is, or use a black, fine-line permanent marker or paint pen to trace
over the pencilled lines. Allow markings to dry before painting.
Wait until after you have painted the card to fold the watercolor paper.
Mix your chosen watercolors in a palette tray. Use colors that will reflect the
Use a watercolor paintbrush to apply wet paint onto dry paper or dampen paper
with a sponge before applying paint. The former method will allow you to produce
crisp, clear edges, and the paint will be easy to control.
Apply paint to dampened paper to achieve softer, blended lines and a more
translucent color. If you've never used this method before, practice until you
feel you can achieve the desired effect.
Add any holiday greeting or message to the inside of your cards. Write your
message with calligraphy pen or a black or metallic medium-point permanent
Always lay your oil paints out on your palette in the same order so that, with
time, you'll be able to pick up a bit of a colour instinctively.
The proportion of oil (medium) should be increased for each subsequent layer in
an oil painting – known as painting
'fat over lean' – because the lower
layers absorb oil from the layers on top of them. If the upper layers dry faster
than the lower ones, they can crack.
Avoid using Ivory Black for an underpainting or sketching as it dries much
slower than other oil paints.
Pigments containing lead, cobalt, and manganese accelerate drying. They can be
mixed with other colours to speed up drying and are ideal for under layers.
(Student-quality paints usually contain cheaper alternatives to these pigments,
generally labelled hues.)
Use linseed oil for an underpainting or in the bottom layers of any oil painting
wet-on-dry as it dries the most
thoroughly of all the oils used as mediums.
Avoid using linseed oil as a medium in whites and blues as it has a marked
tendency to yellow, which is most notable with light colours. Poppy oil is
recommended for light colours as it has the least tendency to yellow (although
it does dry slower).
Don't dry your oil paintings in the dark. This may cause a thin film of oil to
rise to the surface, yellowing it. (This can be removed by exposure to bright
If, as the paint on your palette dries it forms a lot of wrinkles, too much oil
(medium) has been added.
If you're not sure whether a bottle of mineral or white spirits is suitable for
oil painting, put a tiny quantity on a piece of paper and let it evaporate. If
it evaporates without leaving any residue, stain, or smell, it should be fine.
If you want to clean away a layer of oil paint or oil varnish, use alcohol,
which is a powerful solvent.